Though Alexander Gustafsson’s recent career has been somewhat hindered by unfortunate injuries, it sounds like he’s still far from the end of the road. On Thursday afternoon, the long-time light heavyweight contender and two-time title challenger took to Instagram to announce a lucrative new deal with the UFC. In the caption for this Instagram post, he also took a subtle dig at reigning UFC light heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier, who has assured he’ll be retiring soon.
“While others are talking about retirement, I just signed my new deal with the @ufc today,” Gustafsson said in the caption for his post. “I am grateful, excited, and I will be fighting very soon! I need to thank my family, my team @wesportagency and @allstarsgymsweden. I would also like to give a special thank you to my fight management @neems01 and @majdishammas at Moments Sports Management for securing the biggest deal of my career. Soon to be the world champion!!! 🏆🥇#soontobeworldchamp #team #loyalty #family.”
Alexander Gustafsson is currently on a two-fight win-streak composed of a decision defeat of Polish contender Jan Blachowicz, and an impressive knockout over former title challenger Glover Teixeira. These wins were preceded by a pair of losses, to champion Daniel Cormier, and top contender Anthony “Rumble” Johnson. Gustafsson is currently 18-4 overall, and a solid 10-3 in the dangerous UFC light heavyweight division.
The light heavyweight champ Daniel Cormier, meanwhile, will next compete at heavyweight, where he will battle divisional champ Stipe Miocic for gold. From there, the expectation is that he’ll return to light heavyweight, where an eager Gustafsson is likely to be waiting. That said, Cormier plans to retire in less than a year, so Gustafsson is short on time with respect to a rematch with the champ.
“Come March [of this year], I will have 12 months, at max, left,” Cormier said on a recent episode of the MMA Hour. “I’m going to be done by Mar. 20, 2019. I won’t be fighting again.”
“I’m going to be done at 40,” he added. “I won’t be back. There won’t be jumping around or, ‘I’m done until I get the right type of fight.’ It’ll be over. I’m not going to be doing this anymore.”
Do you expect Alexander Gustafsson to get a second crack at light heavyweight champ Daniel Cormier?
This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 4/19/2018.